Abraham Shakespeare: A Lucky Lottery Winner’s Tragic Tale
Winning the jackpot is undoubtedly a life-changing event. However, as some winners’ stories have shown, that change doesn’t always bring about good fortune. The tragic tale of lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare is one of those instances where having more money creates more problems, sometimes with fatal results.
WHO IS ABRAHAM SHAKESPEARE?
Abraham Shakespeare was an American man from Florida. He was working as a truck driver’s assistant in 2006 when he bought a ticket at a Town Star convenience store for the Florida Lotto. Abraham and a co-worker named Michael Ford stopped briefly at the store before continuing to Miami. When Ford asked Abraham if he wanted anything, Abraham asked him to buy two lottery tickets. One of the tickets turned out to be a winner, and Shakespeare won the $30 million jackpot. Abraham chose to take the one-time lump sum payment, which amounted to just over $16.9 million, and walked away with $11 million after taxes were deducted.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ABRAHAM SHAKESPEARE?
Abraham Shakespeare’s life changed almost immediately, though not always for the best—and certainly very differently from other lottery winners. Abraham’s first big decision was to move out of his home and into a $1-million house in a gated community. He made only a few other big purchases, such as a Rolex watch and a Nissan Altima.
The first sign of trouble for Abraham Shakespeare was when his co-worker Michael Ford tried to demand a portion of the winnings from the ticket, as he was the one who purchased the ticket for Shakespeare. Ford asked for $1 million, which Shakespeare refused. Not taking no for an answer, Ford sued Shakespeare, claiming that the tickets were actually his and that Shakespeare had stolen them from his wallet. However, a jury was not convinced by Ford’s claims, and Shakespeare got to keep his winnings.
Unfortunately, there was worse in store for Abraham. Abraham expressed frustration to friends and family about how many people close to him were asking for money. He is even reported to have said that he would’ve been better off if he’d never won the lottery. One of the people close to him who had too much interest in his money was Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore, who started a business with Abraham.
In November 2009, Abraham was reported as missing by his family. They had not seen or heard from him since April of that year. Although his family hoped that he had taken off and was living in the Caribbean, investigators soon received a tip that led them to the backyard of a home Dee Dee Moore had purchased. Unfortunately, Abraham Shakespeare’s body was found under a concrete slab underneath 9 feet of dirt. Abraham Shakespeare was 42 years old when he died.
WHO IS DEE DEE MOORE?
Dee Dee Moore quickly became the prime suspect in Shakespeare’s death. She had arranged to meet Shakespeare in October 2008, claiming she wanted to write a book about him and developed a friendship. Instead of writing a book, however, Moore started a business with Abraham called Abraham Shakespeare LLC and gave herself control over the company’s funds. She withdrew at least $1 million from the company to buy herself a Hummer, a truck, and a Chevrolet Corvette before leaving for a vacation. When questioned by the police, she claimed Shakespeare had given her the money as a gift.
Moore had already been in trouble with the law prior to her association with Shakespeare. She was convicted of insurance fraud and of falsely reporting a crime in 2001, having to serve a year of probation. She also filed for bankruptcy in 2002.
When police contacted Moore about Shakespeare’s disappearance, she gave many conflicting accounts. She told investigators that Abraham was tired of people asking him for money, so she helped him get out of town. She claimed he’d gone to Florida, Orlando, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Texas, or possibly was sick in a hospital somewhere. While Shakespeare was missing, Moore lived in his house and periodically sent texts to his relatives to make it appear as though he were still alive. However, Shakespeare’s family found these texts extremely suspicious, as Abraham was illiterate. During this time, Moore also tried to offer $50,000 to someone to take the blame for Shakespeare’s death.
Investigators also found that Dee Dee had purchased Shakespeare’s house through her company, American Medical Professionals. She claimed that she gave Shakespeare over $600,000 and paid off his outstanding loans, though there was no evidence she had given Abraham any money. Police found Abraham’s body in the backyard of a house she had purchased and put in her boyfriend’s name. When confronted with this fact, Dee Dee tried to blame drug dealers, a lawyer, and even her own 14-year-old son for the murder. While we've read plenty of stories about people whose greed got the best of them, Dee Dee definitely took things to a whole new level of depravity.
WHERE IS DEE DEE MORE TODAY?
Dee Dee Moore was arrested on February 2, 2010, and charged with accessory after the fact. The charges were changed to first-degree murder later that month. Moore was found guilty of murder on December 10, 2012, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole—a fitting sentence and similar to what the killers of Jeffrey Dampier received back in 2006.
Dee Dee has given many interviews from prison and was featured on the show Deadly Women. To this day, she is coming up with new twists to the story, including that her lawyer never allowed her to testify in court and that the jury had been “tampered with” by a friend of Shakespeare’s.
Winning the lottery is usually something to be celebrated. Unfortunately for Abraham Shakespeare, winning the jackpot did nothing but complicate his life, eventually leading to his tragic, untimely death at the hands of the heartless Dee Dee Moore. Although we've come across quite a few unfortunate stories of lottery winners over the years, including Donald Savastano, few highlight the dangers of winning the lottery in such a tragic manner as Shakespeare's. Hopefully he is resting in peace, and hopefully Dee Dee spends the rest of her days behind bars.